‘GUMRAAH’ REVIEW | 7 April, 2023

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T-Series Films and Cine1 Studios’ Gumraah (UA) is a murder mystery involving twins.

Aakash Sardana (Aditya Lal) is murdered brutally one night. The two suspects are look-alikes — Arjun (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Ronnie alias Sooraj (Aditya Roy Kapur). While ACP Yadav (Ronit Roy) is keen on nailing Arjun, his junior, Shivani (Mrunal Thakur), is convinced, the murderer is Ronnie. The police investigations take some time. But do they yield a result with finality? What happens in the court? Whom does the court hold guilty of murdering Aakash? Why is ACP Yadav against Arjun?

The film is a remake of Tamil film Thadam. The story is originally written by Magizh Thirumeni. Although the story is quite unusual, it fails on two counts. Firstly, there are too many coincidences (about the evidences against Arjun and Ronnie) to be true. This, of course, is to make it almost impossible for the investigating police officers to conclude who is the criminal. Secondly, the nail-biting excitement for the audience to know the identity of the killer is missing. The screenplay, written by Sumit Arora and Vardhan Ketkar, is quite devoid of excitement and thrill which one associates with a whodunit. Frankly, because the viewers don’t have any favourite between Arjun and Ronnie, it doesn’t make a difference to them whether one or the other is the murderer. Therefore, the viewers remain silent spectators without really rooting for one or the other. This is a sure sign that the whodunit has not engaged the audience properly. The first few reels, after the murder, move at a leisurely pace. The drama in the post-interval portion is too long-drawn and, therefore, even boring at times. All  in all, the thrill of a murder mystery is almost completely missing. The audience often feels as if the writers have worked backwards to add intrigue value by planting coincidences, which feeling is not good for a thriller. Sumit Arora and Vardhan Ketkar’s dialogues are just fair.

Aditya Roy Kapur has done well in both the roles but his stunts as a he-man are difficult to digest because he doesn’t have the image of an action hero. Mrunal Thakur’s character (of Shivani) is unidimensional, and her expressions and acting are flat. Ronit Roy lends fair support in the role of ACP Yadav. Vedika is alright in a special appearance as Jahnvi. She gets limited scope. Deepak Kalra is natural as Ronnie’s friend, Chaddi. Tauqeer Khan has his moments as police inspector Kesla. Indresh Malik leaves a mark as Lakhani. Keeya Khanna and Sachin Khurana are alright as parents of Arjun and Sooraj. Manoj Bakshi makes a mark as police officer Rathi. Ram Sujan Singh is quite nice as police officer Gupta. Aditya Lal looks handsome and does well as Aakash Sardana. Mohit Anand (as Prithvi), Ankush Deshmukh (as Chhabbaji), Tanvi Kishore (as Aakash’s sister), Kunal (as Aakash’s brother-in-law), Sikandar Khan (as Dr. Lagwal), Pankaj Anand (as Sharmaji’s lawyer), Lalit Parashar (as Chaddi’s lawyer), Bharat Bhatia (as the fat man), Runav Shah (as the 9-year-old Arjun/Ronnie), Shresthdeep Saxena and Shubhdeep Saxena (both as the 12-year-old Arjun/Ronnie), Naivedya (as the 14-year-old Arjun/Ronnie), Ivan Rodrigues (as advocate Balbir Siddhu), Micky Makhija (as the judge), Navneet Kaur (as Radhika), Sumit (as Radhika’s husband), Het Thakkar (as Aakash’s neighbour), Sonali (as the maid), Vasu Soni (as Lakhani’s assistant) and the others provide fair support.

Vardhan Ketkar’s direction is ordinary. Music (Mithoon, Vishal Mishra, Tanishk Bagchi and Abhijit Vaghani) is so-so. Lyrics (Mithoon, Vishal Mishra, Rashmi Virag and Bhrigu Parashar) are okay. Song picturisations (by Adil Shaikh and Vijay A. Ganguly) are functional. Ketan Sodha’s background music is average. Vineet Malhotra does an ordinary job of the cinematography. Ravi Kumar Varma’s action and stunt scenes are good but also a bit over the top. Nikhil Kovale’s production designing and Ashish Naik and Mithun Thakur’s art direction are okay. Sahil Nayar’s editing is loose.

On the whole, Gumraah will prove to be a non-starter.

Released on 7-4-’23 at Inox (daily 5 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru PEN Marudhar Cine Entertainment. Publicity: dull. Opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was weak everywhere.


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